RETRACTION: 08/13/12 3:21 PM ET —
This appears to have been a misunderstanding, as the petition’s author, Jim Harper, tweeted that it was not cut short:
— Jim Harper (@Jim_Harper) August 12, 2012
@arossp EPIC put up a page saying WH "unexpectedly cut short" petition. I would have loved longer, but I don't think that's accurate.
I apologize for the error. Consider the below post retracted (though the points about prior criticism concerning the “We the People” website still stand).
As if we needed any more evidence that the “We the People” petition area at the official White House website is nothing but a pathetic joke:
At approximately 11:30 am EDT [08/09/12], the White House removed a petition about the TSA airport screening procedures from the White House "We the People" website. About 22,500 of the 25,000 signatures necessary for a response from the Administration were obtained when the White House unexpectedly cut short the time period for the petition. The site also went down for "maintenance" following an article in Wired that sought support for the campaign.
It’s somewhat fitting how the the Obama administration’s handling of their own petitioning system mirrors their government’s evolution in other walks of politics: from the early promise of much-needed reform to gradual disappointment at the lack of meaningful progress, disenchantment with the thinly cloaked hypocrisy, and finally, outright subterfuge and even attempts at revisionism. Few have failed to notice how even the most relevant and necessary petitions at the site have received little more than trite and placatory boilerplate for a response, to the inspiration of numerous parodies.
Is it any wonder how a baldfaced stooge like Mitt Romney (and now with his running mate, Rep. Paul “Ayn Rand is my hero” Ryan) can tail Obama so closely in the polls? That’s the picture of disillusionment. If the administration isn’t even willing to respond to growing concerns about their own increasingly blatant violations of the law, then how can there be any hope at all?